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Thanks to an active intervention program, at Whangarei Heads we really do have kiwi in our backyard.

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Taurikura Ridge

Before Before

After After

Taurikura Ridge is the ‘lump’ between the major DOC reserves of Manaia and Bream Head and is about 400ha of broad leaf forest, scrub, exotic forest and farmland with 10 landowners.

In 2005 an Ocean Flowers employee made an observation from the smoko room: “Those Pohutukawa would have leaves and flowers if there were less possums around here”.

One Timms trap and one month later, Daniel had caught 30 possums and we knew we had a problem!

By 2007 a team of uni students had stapled cyanide capsules to trees over the entire ridge and surrounding farm land, and the forest floor was littered with carcasses.

Focus then turned to the question: “What about the rats?” With ongoing support from NRC, WWF and Biofunds, bait lines were established through about 100ha of the south facing forest. Using diphacinone in bait stations through spring and autumn, rat numbers are held at low levels and the forest and bird life are flourishing.

Taurikura Ridge is a kiwi stronghold consistently achieving the highest call counts, and kiwi king of the hill Lambert has reared 20 chicks there in only five years!

The TR project is somewhat of a prototype and ‘learning patch’ for what might be acheived on other areas on the peninsula. Plans are now evolving to establish and link intensive pest control over the entire 6000ha.

Kaka tucking into a healthy Karaka tree on the Taurikura ridge
Kaka tucking into a healthy Karaka tree on Taurikura ridge

Kiwi Release Jan Ody Rd 028
Kiwi release at Taurikura ridge